We're back for another round of underplayed, under appreciated and unknown cards that can help spice up your Commander decks! Keep in mind "ten" is a rather loose idea for me as there are almost always significantly more cards mentioned.
But First, The Market Reacts To Treasure/Food/Blood
In the past year Viridian Revel has spiked hard and for good reason. More cards than ever generate Food, Clue, Blood, and the big one, Treasure. Revel rewards you with free card draw. One of the absolutely most anticipated cards from Streets of New Capenna is Bootleggers' Stash.
What does this mean? Simply put, the ability to trounce Artifacts in Commander is becoming much more valuable. In one of my previous top tens I've talked about Crumble and Shenanigans, here. Revel is considered a good card, but I would suggest that it may actually be a little bit underwhelming. Yes, drawing cards is great but it interacts poorly with Smothering Tithe and here is how. You drawing more cards gives the Tithe player more Treasure which allows them to go off exceedingly quickly. It's not particularly likely that you will draw the correct answer and have mana to cast it whereas giving another player, say, three more mana let's them end the game on the spot. I also offer what I believe to be one better answer to Artifact tokens than Revel, and, another soft answer.
The SpellTable Connection
SpellTable is really great—so great, in fact, that I have been able to play dozens of games every week where normally I could only play a handful. All of these bonus games have resulted in a large amount of extra data. This data informs my deck building decisions, as in whether to make a deck more efficient and powerful, or to make a deck less competitive when it's supposed to be more casual. Why do I bring this up? Because more so than Artifacts, it turns out Enchantments are running wild in most Commander games. For this article I am going to show a few extremely underplayed and excellent counters to common Enchantments at many tables, as well as some powerful Enchantments to run yourself.
Better Than Viridian Revel And Less Costly
This card deals with so many problems and it costs less than $1. I'm genuinely surprised it's not played more. It elimates Clues, Food, Blood, Treasure, and even Mana Crypt or Tormod's Crypt. And it also synergizes completely with Viridian Revel! On top of all that you can now use your other removal spells to deal with newly created bodies.
But Wait, There's MORE!
Song removes all abilities from Artifacts, which neutralizes the pseudo haste effect that non-creature Artifacts enjoy. However, there is another really cool ability Song has that many players are completely unaware of and it is written directly on the card. "If Titania's Song leaves the battlefield, this effect continues until end of turn." That's right, even when it is removed from play, it continues to work until end of turn. I have had players draw their removal spell, kill the Song, and then play an Artifact which *still* has no abilities and is a creature until EoT.
There Can Be Only One, No Really ONLY ONE!
A severely underplayed Enchantment, Leyline of Singularity can potentially exist for an entire game on turn zero for no mana. It stops a player from getting too many copies of those pesky Treasure tokens, among other things.
Farewell To Enchantments
Barrier Breach is ideal for the multi-player nature of Commander. You may think there won't be THREE Enchantments to exile, but it's a lot more common than you would think. Smothering Tithe, Rhystic Study, Mystic Remora and now Viridian Revel show up in an astounding amount of games. Neon Dynasty has re-introduced players to Shrines with Go-Shintai of Life's Origin. Black has plenty of powerful and infinite Enchantments like Necropotence, Phyrexian Arena, Sanguine Bond and Exquisite Blood. The great parts about Barrier Breach are exiling and cycling if you don't need it, something that is not as common on other more flexible Enchantment removals like Disenchant for example.
Then there's the boardwiping card Patrician's Scorn. Patrician's Scorn does this and at Instant speed as well! It pairs with low cost White commanders to consistently make this zero mana but also works fine with several low cost White staple spells like Swords to Plowshares. While there are many cards that potentially destroy all Enchantments, few card do it at Instant speed AND for ZERO mana.
And Now For Something Completely Different
Removal equals interaction. This is not a bold statement. Unfortunately too few players are running sufficient removal. Every player seems to be playing extremely greedy decks whether they be casual or near competitive. One nice thing I can say about players tuning their decks for cEDH is that they do contain a much more prominent interaction dynamic. On the casual front, however, interaction is lacking.
Here I Am, Rock You Like A Tornado
I will be putting this card into my new Falco Spara, Pactweaver deck. For the low cost of three mana you get to blow up any permanent including those pesky Enchantments. Falco has a general theme of "different types of counters" and Tornado has both velocity and age counters thanks to cumulative upkeep. Because of the different types of counters and the many other synergistic cards in the rest of the deck, I'm sure Tornado will find a home in many Falco decks.
Hard To Stop Removal
Leadership Vacuum can deal with a creature that has: hexproof, indestructible, protection from everything, a partner card, totem armor, regeneration, an abitrarily high power/toughness and basically anything else. This card is not seeing anywhere near a sufficient amount of play for how many situations it deals with for a modest mana cost. Oh, and you also get to draw a card! For something to replace itself after saving the game, that's a decent card for Commander.
Mind Games—hear me out: for the low cost of one mana this effectively buys you an entire turn. You can stop an attack trigger. You can tap down a land to take someone off of a color or prevent a spell from being countered on your next turn. These are not bad tempo plays for one Blue. However, for four you can buyback Mind Games. Tapping down one thing per turn can change the course of a game.
But What About More Than One?
As a game progresses and you have eight mana tapping down two artifacts, creatures, or lands at the end of an opponent's turn can create massive space for yourself or someone else on the table. You can influence who attacks and how. You can potentially shut three or more color decks out of one color of mana, or force them to make plays during their upkeep. I've seen this card have an outsized impact. It's basically a tempo version of Capsize. It also has synergy with numerous effects that trigger when you cast a spell and four mana is about as low as it goes for a buyback card. Keeping someone's Commander in play but tapped can oftentimes be far better than removing it. Give this one a try and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by how decent it truly is.
The Murder Lands
Barbarian Ring, Cabal Pit, Mouth of Ronom. These cards go in virtually any deck for the low cost of nothing, it just takes the place of a mountain, swamp or other land. Now you're no longer vulnerable to a ton of different, terribly annoying effects in stax such as Grand Abolisher or Gaddock Teeg. You can beat protection effects while Cabal Pit beats indestructible with -2/-2. Mouth of Ronom deals four damage which can kill many relevant things. These cards give you a potential out without needing to make space for them in your deck. There are a variety of other Lands that have the ability to remove, but most of them have either a significantly higher cost in terms of mana or budget, or do not directly remove a threat.
April Coming To A Close, What Will May Bring?
Between both Neon Dynasty and Streets I believe the overall Commander metagame is starting to shift and we're seeing that through the interplay of Treasures with Viridian Revel and soon Bootleggers' Stash. But it's important not to focus too much on all the Artifacts that are making noise, because there are plenty of Enchantments trying to slip under the radar.
What's your favorite Enchantment removal for Commander? Leave it in the comments.